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working for an Expert Network, your experiences?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:01 am
by A.Tyrol
I was wondering if anyone here has experience working or an Expert Network (EN) and have a few questions.

What I mean by EN are consulting agencies like Gerson Lehrman Group Research or TEN Technical Expert Network. Please see this this Science article here:

Mervis, J. Expert firms play a hidden role in connecting science and finance. Science 339, 137-139 (2013). URL

EN have a controversial image because they have been linked to insider trading, but I think the concept is not a bad thing per se and I would like to work for an EN to generate additional income if possible.

Some questions I have about ENs:

In the articles I have read about ENs, with respect to life sciences only cardiologists and oncologists seem to be mentioned. I am a post-doc in the genomics / systems biology field, and work at a large governmental non-profit, my area of expertise is computational analysis of next-generation sequencing technologies. Is this attractive enough to ENs or are they seeking explicitly for medical doctors only? Do they seek established, high-level scientists only or does one have a chance at post-doc level to get enough tasks?

Have you worked for an EN, and what are/were your experiences?

How much money can one realistically make? I understand that this of course depends on the time you put into answering surveys and phone calls, but what are typical rates? Typical amount of tasks you can get?

Finally, do you think it is worth it? I like the idea of ENs and am looking for realistic, legal ways of generating additional income, but I understand that there are risks of being associated with an EN: possiblity of trading insider information, even un-intentionally. In my case, although I work at a non-profit I do have insider information because several of my superiors have companies on the side, and sometimes it's pretty easy to make connections between results generated in the lab and resulting implications for spin-off companies.

All opinions of course welcome, but I would be especially interested if someone has actual experience working for an EN. Thanks!